Fall means color and cranberries: Celebrate both in Manitowish Waters
By Laurie Lenten
It’s time to celebrate the fall color season in the Northwoods and there’s no better place to do that than in the heart of cranberry country at the Annual Cran-A-Rama, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Community Center in downtown Manitowish Waters.
This unique cranberry festival lets visitors experience the cranberry harvest season on both land and water through self-guided fall color tours, cranberry marsh tours, pontoon cruises and a cranberry cooking contest that is one of the many tasty highlights of the day.
Throughout the day visitors can enjoy raffles, arts and crafts fair, the Lioness bake sale, fresh cranberry sales, cranberry samples and self-guided fall color tours through the beautiful Manitowish Waters (MW) area.
The “Taste of Harvest” featuring delicious foods from local restaurants, as well as all the entries from the Cranberry cooking contest, will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are 50 cents each and can be purchased at the Lions Pavilion.
Cranberry marsh tours at the Vilas Cranberry Company will run from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with shuttle buses leaving from the Manitowish Waters Community Center every half-hour. These one-hour round-trip tours are free courtesy of the Manitowish Waters Chamber of Commerce and the Manitowish Waters Cranberry Growers Association.
If you prefer seeing the fall colors from the water, pontoon cruises sponsored by the Manitowish Waters Lakes Association will take place 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., weather permitting, on Manitowish Lake. The pontoon cruises will leave every half-hour from the dock at the Blue Bayou Inn, located two miles south of the Manitowish Waters Community Center. Each cruise will last approximately an hour.
For a chance to win an airplane ride over the beautiful Manitowish Waters area dressed in full fall color and including its many cranberry marshes, be sure to enter the 21st Annual Cranberry Cooking Contest. The contest includes categories for breads/muffins/desserts, main dishes/salads/appetizers, and sauces/jams and jellies/miscellaneous (candies, beverages, soups, etc.).
Entries, including the recipe, must be delivered to the Lions Pavilion behind the MW Community Center between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. Oct. 5, with judging set to begin at 10 a.m. Cranberry-themed prizes will be awarded to the first, second, and third place winners in each food category beginning at noon. One overall winner of the cooking contest will walk away with the airplane ride. Pre-registration for the cooking contest is recommended.
The Manitowish Waters Cran-A-Rama is free and open to the public.
For more information on Cran-A-Rama, or to download the rules and registration form for the 21st Annual Cranberry Cooking Contest, visit www.ManitowishWaters.org and go to the Events link at the top of the page, or call the Manitowish Waters Chamber of Commerce at 714-543-8488.
Laurie Lenten is a freelance writer who lives in Rhinelander. Her articles also appear in Northwoods Commerce, Northwoods ‘boomers and Beyond and Living on the Lake magazines.